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LARS



Overview


LARS 2

Rear left view of LARS 2 multiple rocket launcher in the firing position. Note the large box shaped foward control crew cabin.
Source: Unknown author - © copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Germany
Type
Multiple rocket launcher
Entered service
1969
Status
Out of service
Development
1960's
Developer
Germany - Wegmann & Co.
Production
1969 - 1971
LARS 1 production
1980 - mid 1980's
LARS 2 conversions
1981 - 1983
FERA production
Producer
Germany - Wegmann & Co.
Number produced
About 200 LARS 1
50 FERA
Designations
LARS / Leichtes Artillerieraketensystem
Acronym, German for "light artillery rocket system"
Notable users
Germany

Description


Introduction

The LARS is a late Cold War era multiple rocket launcher of German origin. It was developed in the 1960's to complement tube artillery. Conceptually the LARS is similar to the widely used Soviet BM-21 Grad. No LARS sytems remain in use today.

Layout

The LARS essentially is a truck based trainable launcher for unguided artillery rockets. The 110mm diameter artillery rockets are spin stabilized and use solid rocket fuel. Reloading is done manually by the three man crew. A firing unit consists of four launchers plus ammunition trucks. Originally the system was based on the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter 7t 6x6 truck, but was rebuilt in the 1980's on the more mobile MAN Kat 1 6x6 truck.

Firepower

The LARS has 36 launch tubes for 110mm artillery rockets. All tubes can be fired in 18 seconds. The minimum range is 6.5 km and the maximum range is 14.7 km. Three types of ammunition are available: fragmentation, anti-tank mines and smoke. For self-defense a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun is fitted on a ring mount on the cabin roof.

Mobility

The original LARS uses the Magirus-Deutz chassis has a maximum road speed of 73 km/h. The LARS 2 with MAN chassis has a maximum road speed of 90 km/h and an improved cross country performance.

Protection

The armored cabin of the LARS 1 provides limited protection against small arms fire and shrapnell. The LARS 2 is a softskin vehicle. No NBC systems are fitted. The somewhat limited range of the LARS makes it vulnerable to counter battery fire.

Users

The LARS was acquired only by Germany and was used by the German army. In the 1980's the LARS was improved as the LARS 2 by converting existing vehicles to a MAN 7t 6x6 truck chassis and by adding an artillery radar to each four vehicle unit. Since the mid 1990's the LARS was supplemented in German service by the American M270 MLRS system, known in Germany as MARS. Last units were replaced in the year 2000, ending the service life of the LARS.

Details


Overview of variants

LARS 1

The LARS 1 is the original production model of the LARS. It is based on the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter 178D15A 7 ton 6x6 truck chassis. A firing unit exists of four LARS 1 plus several transport trucks carrying additional ammunition. The LARS 1 is easily identified by its two banks of 18 launch tubes in conjunction with the bonnet truck chassis.

LARS 2

The LARS 2 is a product-improved version of the LARS 1. No new LARS 2 were produced, all have been converted from LARS 1. The LARS 2 replaces the Magirus-Deutz Jupiter chassis with a newer MAN Kat 4520 7 ton 6x6 truck chassis. Additionally a fire-control radar unit, known as FERA, was added to each four vehicle firing unit.

FERA

FERA is a fire-control system that was developed for use in conjunction with the LARS 2 system. It consist of a radar derived from the Oerlikon-Contraves Fieldguard system and a MAN 5t 4x4 truck chassis.

Facts LARS 1 LARS 2
General
Origin
Germany
Type
Multiple rocket launcher
Crew
3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Dimensions
Weight
15 t combat load
Length
7.66 m in travel configuration
Width
2.5 m
Height
2.82 m in travel configuration
Main armament
Type
110mm LARS rocket launcher
Mount
36-tube launcher on turntable
Ammunition
36 rockets
Traverse
Powered elevation and traverse
Secondary armament
Type
7.62mm MG3 machine gun
Mount
Pintle mount on cabin roof
Ammunition
100 rounds ready to fire
Traverse
Manual traverse and elevation
Chassis
Chassis type
Wheeled chassis, 6x6
Automotive
Engine
Deutz F8L 714 diesel
Power output
178 hp at 2.300 rpm
Mobility
Speed
73 km/h on road
Range
500 km
Turn radius
19.8 m
Power to weight ratio
11.9hp/t
Protection
Armor type
Steel armor on crew cabin
NBC system
No
Smoke system
No

Media


Related articles


M270 MLRS

In German service the LARS was replaced by the more capable M270 MLRS, known in German service as MARS.